Jerash aka Pompeii of the East and Kerak Castle

In Northern Jordan, is a city named Jerash, otherwise known as the Pompeii of the East.

Walking through its grand arch entrance you can see why it has received its nickname; impressive columns line the main path into the historic city.

On the outskirts lives the hippodrome, where citizens would watch horses and chariots race.

Next you will see the remains of shops, Romans would have sold tools from.

The Main Street into the oval plaza (where Romans would have met and socialised) is called the cardo this means body in Latin.

You are able to roam around two ancient theatres Jerash has to offer. In the museum on site you can even see the little circular stone theatre tickets. Smaller than a 1p coin they looked very easy to misplace!

There are also two temples one that was dedicated to Zeus and another to Artemis.

There is a mock wooden Wheel demonstrating a hydrology stone cutting system that would have been used.

The city of Jerash is fascinating with a wealth of history and brilliantly preserved ruins. Definitely worth a visit and you need at least 2 hours to see all the sights.

Next on our agenda was Kerak Castle built by the crusaders in 1140.

The castle overlooks the valley and has outstanding views of the surrounding countryside.

There are numerous rooms and hallways inside the castle to explore. All of which are sheltered from the blistering sun. There are small slithers in the stone walls providing look outs from the cool dark interior.

To get to the castle the drive is up a winding road, which takes you through the main high street of Kerak. Squeezing down the narrow street in the car, I was glad not to be the one driving. Lining the road are clothes, toy and hardware shops.

People threw themselves out across the road without even looking. It appears as if pedestrians have some kind of right of way. Yet, the drivers still beeped their horns at them.

Our journey from Jershra to Kerak to Petra was mainly along Desert road, an international road that goes through Saudia Arabia and Egypt.

We arrived in Petra in time for Petra by night which takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8.30pm. Stay tuned to hear about our experience of this.

Top tips:

-We decided not to get a guide at Jerash but they were available on entrance.

-Jerash is around one hour north of Amman by car.

– We opted for a driver to take us to all sites. Some choose to hire a car or take a tour bus. While the roads are very well developed some of the drivers are a little crazy especially around the capital city Amman. If you want to hire a driver for your trip you can usually organise this through your accommodation- it is worth getting a number of quotes.

– Pack toilet roll as most bathrooms will not have any. Ensure you don’t put it down the toilet as drainage systems are weak.

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